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Thread: Some quick tips and notes after doing some maintenance on the SX4

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Champaign, IL
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    Some quick tips and notes after doing some maintenance on the SX4

    I'm doing a ton of maintenance on my 2008 AWD sx4 hatchback in the next week or two and I thought I'd just mention some quick tips and notes as I do, while the process is fresh in my mind:

    Jacking car: Painless and fun. I bought a 3 ton floor jack from harbor freight that worked great. I splured on some Torin T43004 3 Ton Aluminum Jack Stands (they are not normal jack stands with legs), and I felt extremely safe under car.

    Changing spark plugs: Could not be easier, definitely a good first project for those who haven't done much care work.

    Changing oil: Quite enjoyable. I bought a K+N filter which has a nut on the bottom to make it easier to put on and off, since the sx4 oil filter is in a "tricky" location. I would *not* recommend others buy this kind of filter. First, I had to buy a large 1" socket for it, as most home socket sets don't go this large. The location made it very hard to get a socket on it, and if you expect to be able to use a torque wrench, even harder. In the future I will use a filter with a cap style socket wrench, as hand tightening is completely reasonable in this location and would be a lot less trouble. My drain plug did *not* have a washer at all; the drain plug screw was quite long (longer than an inch); I added a copper washer. There are no items that get dirty on the 2008 hatch when changing oil, and no under body plastic covers to remove. Very easy and fun. I used exactly 5 quarts of oil.

    Flushing coolant: After lifting car, the drain plug was easy to access with a long nose vice grip pliers. I highly recommend investing in one of those $25 Lisle no-spill radiator funnels. They aren't just for burping, they make filling the radiator so much easier than would otherwise be the case. Our adapter in the Lisle kit is type "C". I used Zerex asian formula coolant, 2 gallons worth.

    Next up: power steering flush, brake fluid flush, front rotor+pad replacements, front and rear transfer case flushes, auto transmission flush.
    2008 sx4 awd auto hatch touring

  2. #2
    Care to share some details in the power steering flush and the process.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Southern Alberta, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by sx4mouse View Post
    Changing oil: Quite enjoyable. I bought a K+N filter which has a nut on the bottom to make it easier to put on and off, since the sx4 oil filter is in a "tricky" location. I would *not* recommend others buy this kind of filter.
    Odd. I prefer the K+N because the nut makes light work of removing the filter.

    I used Zerex asian formula coolant, 2 gallons worth.
    I'm using a waterless coolant from Evans Cooling that runs at zero pressure, non-corrosive and is a lifetime application.

    Next up: front and rear transfer case flushes
    Just a heads up regarding the transfer case... it is a serious pain in the patootie to get to. You might find it more convenient to lower the car a bit and squeeze under it so you have enough leverage/arm movement to get the fill plug loosened and torqued. I'm not sure how you're planning to refill the transfer case, but access is very restrictive. I enlisted the help of my father and used a long tube fed from above the engine and into the filler hole while I monitored and clamped the end of the hose once it started running out the hole. Definitely one of the least enjoyable maintenance routines on this vehicle.
    Current: 2008 SX4 JLX Hatchback ~ White Pearl ~ MT/iAWD ~
    R.I.P.: 2008 SX4 JX Hatchback ~ Silver ~ MT/iAWD ~

  4. #4
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    May 2014
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    Odd. I prefer the K+N because the nut makes light work of removing the filter.
    well that was the idea.. but after trying it myself, i found the nut a pain in the *** to try to use, because of the large size requiring a special socket purchase, the "roundedness" of the nut which made the socket keep wanting to slip off, and because the angle made it hard to get my ratchet in a good position. a cap wrench that let me get a good grip on the filter for hand screwing/unscrewing will be much preferable for me in the future.

    thanks for the tip on the transfer case -- i may use your idea of a long tube from above...
    2008 sx4 awd auto hatch touring

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    2,935
    I use a closed wrench instead of a ratchet to remove the K&N and it work well. But usually I'm lazy and just grab some wrench pliers and destroy the filter while removing lol.
    "It's kind of like having a harem. It's really expensive and WAY overkill, but how much fun is it to brag to your friends that you have one?"
    SX4-Turbo @ 11psi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    East Hills, Wa
    Posts
    1,695
    Unless it is a diesel, don't over-tighten oil filters. It is common occurrence when oil change is done at grease-monkey places.
    How hard can it be?

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Part 2:

    Replacing Power steering fluid:
    Too much trouble to try to disconnect hoses, and no fluid seems to circulate when turning steering wheel with engine off.
    So, I did the quick and dirty way of replacing the fluid, which is to drain it out with turkey baster, refill, turn on engine, move steering wheel from lock to lock a dozen times, and then repeat from the drain step, several times.
    Easy and no special tools needed.


    Brakes:
    Replaced rotors, pads, and bled all 4 brakes.
    Followed the videos by volvosweeden.
    Had entire car up on 4 jack stands.
    Fairly straightforward, but takes many hours for a novice. My brake parts and bolts were pretty heavily rusted, so i was glad to have a special recommended brake bleeder valve wrench, and the special 8mm screws that volvosweeden showed to use for replacing rotors.
    Flushing new brake fluid and bleeding brakes was a bit of a pain because our brake fluid reservoir is so small; it took a long time.
    Bought a $30 vacuum one man bleeder which was unusable because it wouldn't seal properly, so i had to use the 2 person brake bleed technique.
    The front and back bleeder valves are different sizes -- i bought a bunch of misc. small vinyl tubing which worked fine.
    Definitely doable by a novice -- the replacing of brake pads and rotors absolutely doable with some effort and a torque wrench and socket set.
    The bleeding of brakes was a real pain but you'd only need to do this if you were trying to flush new brake fluid.

    Rear differential gear oil:
    Simple and easy, no drama.

    Front transfer case:
    Simple and easy, no drama -- you may need a variety of socket ratchet extensions, can't remember.

    Transmission fluid:
    I needed a 24mm open ended wrench for this -- no room for my socket/ratched or torque wrench.
    I *intended* to follow volvesweeden's video of disconnecting transmission return line and flushing a dozen quarts of fluid (since a simple drain only gets 3.5qt), but taking off the plastic under engine protection plastic was just too much for me -- a dozen different kinds of rusted screws, was just too much of a hassle. So instead I think i will open the drain plug and drain and replace 3.5 quarts at a time, several times over the next month or so.
    2008 sx4 awd auto hatch touring

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    USA
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    123
    Quote Originally Posted by sx4mouse View Post
    I'm doing a ton of maintenance on my 2008 AWD sx4 hatchback in the next week or two and I thought I'd just mention some quick tips and notes as I do, while the process is fresh in my mind:

    Jacking car: Painless and fun. I bought a 3 ton floor jack from harbor freight that worked great. I splured on some Torin T43004 3 Ton Aluminum Jack Stands (they are not normal jack stands with legs), and I felt extremely safe under car.

    Changing spark plugs: Could not be easier, definitely a good first project for those who haven't done much care work.

    Changing oil: Quite enjoyable. I bought a K+N filter which has a nut on the bottom to make it easier to put on and off, since the sx4 oil filter is in a "tricky" location. I would *not* recommend others buy this kind of filter. First, I had to buy a large 1" socket for it, as most home socket sets don't go this large. The location made it very hard to get a socket on it, and if you expect to be able to use a torque wrench, even harder. In the future I will use a filter with a cap style socket wrench, as hand tightening is completely reasonable in this location and would be a lot less trouble. My drain plug did *not* have a washer at all; the drain plug screw was quite long (longer than an inch); I added a copper washer. There are no items that get dirty on the 2008 hatch when changing oil, and no under body plastic covers to remove. Very easy and fun. I used exactly 5 quarts of oil.

    Flushing coolant: After lifting car, the drain plug was easy to access with a long nose vice grip pliers. I highly recommend investing in one of those $25 Lisle no-spill radiator funnels. They aren't just for burping, they make filling the radiator so much easier than would otherwise be the case. Our adapter in the Lisle kit is type "C". I used Zerex asian formula coolant, 2 gallons worth.

    Next up: power steering flush, brake fluid flush, front rotor+pad replacements, front and rear transfer case flushes, auto transmission flush.

    So you totally flushed your radiator? You didn't mention anything about using a hose and water. I thought it was impossible to flush these cars without a hose and a ton of water?

    I'm about to do a coolant change which is what, 50% of the coolant capacity? Expecting to use about 1 gallon.. But I have 2 gallons if a flush is really as simple.
    2009 Crossover AWD Manual

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    USA
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    123
    I just did a coolant "change" and including emptying/refilling the reservoir I used about 5.75 Liters which is about 80-85% of the 7.0 Liter capacity. Considering the 50% expectation I'm happy.

    No special tools used. Coolant drained cleanly into the bucket without a hose.

    Used Pentofrost A3 (Blue - Super Extended Life).

    Really easy car to do coolant!
    Last edited by exime; December 17th, 2017 at 11:44 AM.
    2009 Crossover AWD Manual

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    New Zealand
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    Quote Originally Posted by exime View Post
    I just did a coolant "change" and including emptying/refilling the reservoir I used about 5.75 Liters which is about 80-85% of the 7.0 Liter capacity. Considering the 50% expectation I'm happy.

    No special tools used. Coolant drained cleanly into the bucket without a hose.

    Used Pentofrost A3 (Blue - Super Extended Life).

    Really easy car to do coolant!
    I think you have the wrong idea about what a coolant change involves. Is there any reason why you couldn't flush all the old coolant out of the engine & radiator?

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